Jeannette didn't lose much from WPIAL runner-up team, but replacing QB will be challenge
Jeannette football coach Roy Hall shouldn't have many concerns about a team that graduated only a handful of starters from last year's 12-1 squad that dropped a heartbreaker to Aliquippa in the WPIAL Class AA title game.
But one of those grads was quarterback/safety Demetrious Cox, who now plays at Michigan State. Cox was a catalyst for the Jayhawks, who won the Interstate Conference.
“Demetrious was a true leader,” Hall said. “His teammates appreciated playing with him. But now someone else has to step up and assume his role.”
Jeannette is expected to again be the team to beat in the conference. That's why finding a quarterback is important.
The candidates for the job are senior Seth Miller, junior Michael Wise and sophomore Julian Batts.
“A lot of times competition brings out the best in someone, especially if someone is breathing down your neck,” Hall said. “We've always been a versatile team. It's good to have three or four players playing multiple positions.”
While the quarterback position may be unsettled, Hall has a bevy of other offensive weapons, headed by fullback Jordan Edmunds. Others expected to contribute offensively include Anthony Canady, Shavonta Craft, Chiron Alexander and Damon Morton.
Edmunds rushed for 925 yards and Craft, 786.
Jeannette returns a strong offensive line, which includes Matt Howard, Michael Edwards, Logan Hoak and tight end Brandon Krautz. Chris Smith is expected to help on both the offensive and defensive lines.
“We need to develop depth on the lines and make sure we get the right person in the right position,” Hall said. “The defense should be strong with the addition of Smith and Nathan Childs.”
Hall said he's not taking anything for granted in the conference. Washington is supposed to be strong, Mt. Pleasant is good, and Greensburg Central Catholic always competes for a conference title.